Book Review: Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell

I recently finished reading Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell (with Patrick Robinson). This is the story of the last surviving member of the SEAL team dispatched on Operation Redwing in July of 2005. Marcus was dispatched with team mates LT (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, Sonar Technician Surface Second Class (SEAL) Matthew G. Axelson, and Gunners Mate Second Class (SEAL) Daniel Dietz. Their mission to capture or kill a Taliban leader with ties to Al Qaeda. The mission starts out okay, but eventually, they are discovered and must fight for their lives. In the course of the ensuing Battle of Murphy's Ridge, three of the four members of the team are killed. One of the last acts of LT Murphy is to place himself in direct fire of the enemy so he can radio for help. He is mortally wounded while doing this but successfully makes the call. A rescue mission is dispatched, but Al Qaeda or Taliban insurgents manage to shoot it down, resulting in the largest single day loss of SEALs in their history.

This is the story of that mission told from the point of view of the only survivor, Marcus Luttrell. It is a powerful story of men in combat. The part of the book where he describes the death of his comrades, the fall of powerful warriors in battle, was shocking. I almost had to quit reading this book. I made the mistake of reading it on an airplane and I was almost in tears after reading that passage. I decided if Luttrell was brave enough to endure the actual experience, then the least I could do was to be brave enough to finish reading his story.

I strongly recommend this book (just don't read it in public if you might be embarrassed by public tears). This is the tale of some of our bravest warriors fighting in our current wars. Something that neither our media or our government seem comfortable discussing, either then (2005) or now (2010). Do these men the honor of learning their tale, remember their names. I wish I had the opportunity to meet those SEALs before they died.

No comments: